Spaceheadz Blog Tour starring Jon Scieszka!

I am thrilled to be hosting Mr. Jon Scieszka today on his blog tour for his new middle grade book, SPHDZ Book #1! (Spaceheadz)!

Jon Scieszka is the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, named by the Library of Congress. He is the author of some of the best known and funniest books written for children including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Time Warp Trio series and the Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales. He is the creator of the Trucktown series, of which Smash!Crash! was an NY Times bestseller for many weeks. Jon is a former elementary school teacher, and a avid promoter of literacy—particularly for boys. His website www.guyssread.com focuses on his national campaign. Jon lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.  (For more information, check out this website.)

SPHDZ Book #1! is absolutely hysterical!  While it is aimed at younger readers, on the lower end of the middle grade spectrum, I still found myself laughing out loud.  Part comic book, part prose, it will be hard to tear this one out of young readers’ hands. The book is the perfect combination of an actual, physical book and pouring over a physical book with the technology that kids love.

Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren’t kids at all.At first, they just seemed super weird. Then, they announce that they are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ. But with a hamster as their leader, “kids” who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert (and only convert), will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment?

I highly recommend SPHDZ, especially to boy readers.  I gave my copy to my younger cousin and he was a little skeptical until he read the first page.  After laughing hysterically, he screamed across the room, “This book is funny and awesome!”  I’d say that is  a stamp of approval. :)

___________________________

Today, I am happy to announce that Jon Sciezka has created some exclusive content for TheReadingZone readers!  Rather than explain it, I’ll let Mr. Sciezcka take it away….

“Major Fluffy is definitely a Spaceheadz.  He has disguised himself as what he believes is the most powerful form on all Earth – a fifth grade class hamster.  But Major Fluffy knows more than you might think.  The only problem is that he usually speaks hamster . . . or dog . . . or cat . . . or duck . . . or baby . . . or whale . . . or ant . . . and maybe grape soda.”



Want to know more?  Major Fluffy also has a blog at http://majorfluffy.wordpress.com/ and tweets @majorfluffy.

*review copy courtesy of the publisher

Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells

Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells was inspired by a 200-word fragment written by Willie Lincoln about a trip he took with his father, Abe Lincoln. Wells was doing research for another novel when she read the brief piece and it inspired the writing of Lincoln and His Boys.

Written in the viewpoint of Wilie, Tad and Willie, and then Tad, this is a gem of a book. A small volume at less than 100 pages, it perfect to hand to some of my more dormant readers. Especially those who have no interest in historical fiction. Wells presents a look at Lincoln as a father through the eyes of his adoring sons. The only politics they are interested in is war and getting attention from their father. I think boys will especially connect with Tad and Willie because they are rambunctious boys who burst into cabinet meetings and sweep the papers off the table. They build a fort on the roof of the White House to hold off the south. And Lincoln is an indulgent father who allows them to act crazy and have fun.

Readers also see the deep relationship between the boys and their parents. I loved seeing the little acts of kindness between them. The book is entirely grounded in fact and none of the actions are fictionalized. Just the dialogue and certain details have been imagined.

Lincoln and His Boys is a quick read that I would not hesitate to hand to some of my dormant/struggling readers. The text is at a 4th grade level (or so) and includes illustrations, but even I learned some new facts about Lincoln from the story! I think this would make a great book to ease kids into historical fiction.

 

*Review copy courtesy of the publisher.  Cybils nominee

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,780 other followers